Straight on the expression of killer instinct of Sean Jackson’s mug. In his arms clutched tight is the Ace in the Hole briefcase. The form of La Flama Blanca connected to it. The camera pulled back to show the painting rendition of the shot heard around the world.
A single hand with a paintbrush continued to establish the ring posts and ropes, expanding outwards to cover the canvas.
“We all have demons within us, do we not Sean? You turned on your fellow spawn, and seemed to have sided with another group of devils.” She leaned in and looked over her work. Quite satisfied, turned and faced the camera which then zoomed out more. “Spawn, devils, demons. Whatever you want to call it, you proved that you are still the same man. The same man that now has what is sure to be a guaranteed UTA World Championship reign once more.” With a grin she set her paintbrush in a cup to the side, and walked over to the stool next to her canvas. Pausing before taking her seat. “I see through you though, Sean. Remember that one simple fact. Buuuuuuuuut-”
Zhalia plopped herself down on the stool, crossing her legs and setting her hands atop the knees.
“Enough about you, Sean. We will get back to that injustice a bit later. First things first. And that my friend is Wrestleshow. The Legacy Championship contendership is on the line fellow! And best bet that all has their wits about em’. Including me.” Smile. “Last week I got Brother Judas… and far less of a match than I expected.” With a heavy sigh she leaned forward, “yeah, I got my ass thrown around like a ragdoll or the poor unfortunate soul blocking Bobby Dean’s path at a All you can eat Buffet.”
She shook her head with a look of disappointment but this was quickly diminished with her usual demeanor.
“So next week I have a triple threat match against two of UTA’s… well, hmm. Could you call them newest talents? Kendrix is the hot ticket. Sided with Dynasty at the right time and while has been a bit overshadowed by Mikey Unlikely’s doing the same, that does not mean he has been less relevant. And even if he was… that changed last night, right? When he clocked Hopper?”
Her question was addressed to her viewers but also to her long time friend and goto for all things, things. You would have to know the two to get that relationship but that is for another time!
“Well, Kendrix is new. Abdul however is a returning superstar. And probably has more tenure than you in the wrestling industry, Zhal.”
April laughed off-camera, which of course made the view bounce slightly.
“Abdul Ahad. I actually remember watching him in action nearly two years ago, against Mr. Ace in the Hole. In fact if I remember right, he won that match. Non-title against the UTA World Champion.” Zhalia smirked, cocked her head to the left and looked deadcenter into the camera lens. “I wonder if he ever got a UTA World title shot for that win either?” Laughing she shrugged it off - holding true to her words all this time that she beat the champ, by DQ, and never got her just deserts. “That aside, we are headed to Egypt in a few days! Never been there before, but I have a feeling that Abdul’s experienced the lifestyle and scenery there far more than myself or Kendrix ever have or could have.”
“You know about the culture there though, right? Especially for women?”
“I do, but question if others do. Egypt is not Saudi Arabia. It is actually far more conservative.” Zhalia leaned back and brushed her hair away from right ear, further exposing her bare shoulders due to the wideopen neck of her shirt. “This right here would need covered with a shawl-” she shifted her legs and uncrossed them. Her usual baggy khaki’s in display while she patted at them. “-and these would need replaced with a skirt or trousers really.”
“Oh? So no burqas?” April asked with increasing curiosity, “That is all I ever hear about down there.”
Zhalia laughed and shook her head, “Unless we are going to a mosque, there is no reason. Buuuut here is the kicker, April dear.”
She paused and kicked her legs forward, popping off the stool and onto the ground. Using it to lean back while she pointed forward.
“The guys,” she shook her finger, “should not be wearing shorts at all. It is not proper in the streets or markets. I question if Sean, Abdul, Cecilworth and the rest know this.”
“How could you? I mean you’ve never been there and-”
“My Uncle has wrestled down there. Plenty of times. And while times have changed, customs and beliefs have not.” She shrugged and sat back down on the stool. “Enough about the dress code though. I just wanted to be clear that we women are not in for a lost cause or going to be shot on sight and all that nonsense. Abdul Ahad’s personal outlook may differ from the resident Abdul bin Hussain’s. Hopefully. So he will see me as a equal, rather than one of the wives that the men seek.”
The customs in Egypt, especially Cairo, are far less taxing and intrusive as long as you don’t try to attract attention. Zhalia knew this quite well, but had to wonder how they were going to perform in the ring. Surely some exceptions were being made and agreed upon by management. She highly doubted after all that Sabrina and herself would wrestle in skirts and blouses, while guys like Quinlan and Cecilworth were forced to wear longer shorts or pants.
“Then there is Kendrix. Dude is from London!” She smiled at this, being a England girl herself. “I spent many a day in the heart of London growing up, while I still call the UK my home however. The pro wrestling scene back there, or here even, is outrageously amazing. Sure the states have their up’s and down’s, and Mexico has tradition, but the eastern hemisphere is chalked full of talent.” Zhalia laughed and smiled, “Do not even get me started on Japan!”
“You know he is also a well educated man, much like yourself. I believe he finished his lessons and-” April had started on but the glare from Zhalia stopped her dead in her tracks. “Sorry, but-”
“I plan to finish one day!” She laughed and returned to her usual self while peering back over at the wall before turning back. “But you know being on the road all this time with the UTA, and even now with the roster splits between the two shows, I still go to them all. May not get used but hey, it is a blast to hang out with my friends in this business, and the fans all around.”
Zhalia stepped forward from the stool and walked back over to her painting. Her eye having caught something and quickly grabbing the paintbrush she made a few adjustments to the look on Sean’s face, and added some shine to the briefcase. Setting the paintbrush aside once more, Zhalia stood there admiring her work.
“The thing about next week is that even with Abdul and Kendrix in our Triple Threat, one of us will end up wrestling a second match a bit later against whomever won the other triple threat. All heavy hitters themselves,” she smirked and leaned up against the wall, folding her arms across her stomach, “and I mean that quite sincerely with a guy like Bronson Box. He has been dominating with his fighter mentality. Of course you also have CBR in that group. The man that is the longest reigning Internet Champion in UTA’s history, and quite frankly one person that I look up to in this business as an ideal champion. When Dynasty controlled it all, he still defended his titles without the need for the usual trickery. Usually.”
“And of course the last one in the triple threat is Chris Hopper.” Added April to the nod of Zhalia.
“Yep. Chris is a great guy. Seriously. I know I say this a lot but I will continue to do so. He should be the UTA World Champion by now and hopefully soon enough that will be a factual statement. But as for Wrestleshow… I question what would happen.” Zhalia shrugged and continued. “If it comes down to me versus Chris for the contendership spot… what happens? Will he give me a decent roof blowing match? Or will he try and take the easy way out with quick pins? Or just outright refuse to fight and get himself counted out? Due to his mentality towards us women in the UTA, it is something I think about.”
“Another glorious win for you, eh Zhal!” She laughed, but Zhalia was hardly cheery for that comment. Still she shrugged and responded in kind.
“I can not help it if things happen in my matches. If you would have asked me a month ago if I expected a Tiki Statue to show up in my match… well,” she smiled wide, “definitely would not have expected it of course! It is just that-”
“Got a message here Zhal. Looks like it is from Lauren Smith of the UTA’s media division.”
“A new video was posted up that she wanted you to be aware of as soon as was possible.”
“Oh? Really? Let us see here…” Zhalia walked off to the right, out of view momentarily before returning and stepping behind the stool; she then set the laptop down and stood there as she brought up the wrestleuta.com website and pulled up the newest video. “Oh just Sean and his usual sitdown thing.” She smiled and pulled her earbuds up and placed them in her ears. “Talking about LFB and being laid up in the hospital somewhere and-”
Her eyes shot wide open.
“What’s up Zhalia?”
She remained silent but her hands holding the laptop to the stool were seeing the knuckles turn white.
Zhalia’s right knee drilled into the underside of the stool and caused it to fall forward, the laptop landing on the ground with a pop as the earphones snapped free of their socket. The screen in view, slightly cracked now, as the unmistakable voice continued mid-sentence.
“-that is between us guys, isn’t it?”
On screen Sean Jackson’s moving her comatosed brother’s head like a mannequin doll. Behind it Zhalia’s eyes are locked downward.
“Should we like… call the police? The hospital staff maybe?” April questioned as she was worried for her friend’s sake. “I know it isn’t live but we could-”
Zhalia’s left boot stomped down onto the keypad. She then stepped past the laptop and continued forward walking up close to the camera, her facial expression quite telling before walking off and out of view.
“Come on,” Zhalia shouted back. “Shut that crap off.”
“Where we going?” April asked as she tilted the camera down towards the laptop and went for the power button.
“Where do you think? To see my brother-”
The feed came to an end on the wink of that bastard Sean Jackson courtesy of the cracked laptop display.
"-and then to Dallas."